Buyer enquiries in the capital have seen a 57% uplift since May 2021, a clear sign of recovery in a market that was hammered by the pandemic. However, the number of available properties to buy has declined by 14% during the same period and this continued imbalance between supply and demand will put further pressure on the capital’s housing market and property prices, warns estate agency, Chestertons.
Further evidence that house hunters will continue to see increasing property prices is the May house price index released by Halifax this month. According to the index, UK house prices increased again in May, with the average now standing at £289,099. In London, which has seen the strongest inflation over the past decade, the average cost for property has reached £541,942.
Richard Davies, Managing Director of Chestertons, says: “As the UK’s capital, London’s property market remains a hotspot and attracts a wide demographic of property buyers. Our branches receive enquiries from families, couples and investors but, particularly post-pandemic, we are seeing an uplift in the number of international students, international buyers as well as office workers who require a pied-à-terre closer to work.”
Another contributing factor for the continuous growth in buyer demand, says Davies, are interest rates: “With the Bank of England putting up interest rates more than once this year, many house hunters have established a stronger sense of urgency to buy before further rate hikes. Therefore, this month’s increase in the base rate would have driven buyer enquiries in May.”
The London areas that have seen a particular increase in buyer enquiries last month compared to May 2021 are Tower Bridge, Islington, Hampstead and Westminster, says Chestertons.